The U.S. Bureau of Mines has recently initiated a series of controlled cutting experiments for the purpose of collecting accurate sensory data in order to establish performance levels for coal-rock interface detection (cid) systems. The experiments consist of measuring bit forces, vibration, and thermal information as a linear cutting apparatus (lca) makes constant-depth cuts in coal and rock materials. Data from these tests will be used to train, evaluate, and test cid systems that utilize adaptive signal discrimination to identify the type of material being cut. Initial tests are being conducted utilizing simple geological materials (e.g., coal without hard bands or significant cleats). Following these tests, sensory data for more complex geological materials and interface conditions will be similarly collected and processed. This paper describes the lca, test instrumentation, and sample preparation, and presents some preliminary cutting force data obtained from a coal sample.